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Biến Cố Mậu Thân 1968


The major accomplishment of Pike's work was to launch the official "estimate" or 4,756 as the number of civilians killed by the NLF in and around Hue. This was no small feat because, in arriving at that figure, Pike had to statistically conjure away thousands of civilian victims of American air power in Hue. The undeniable fact was that American rockets and bombs, not communist assassination, caused the greatest carnage in Hue. The bloodshed and ruin shook even longtime supporters of the anti- communist effort. Robert Shaplen wrote at the time, "Nothing I saw during the Korean War, or in the Vietnam War so far has been as terrible, in terms of destruction and despair, as what I saw in Hue."48 After the communist occupation had ended, Don Tate of Scripps-Howard Newspapers described bomb craters 40 feet wide and 20 feet deep staggered in the streets near the walls of the citadel and "bodies stacked into graves by fives -- one on top of another."49 Nine thousand seven hundred and seventy-six of Hue's 17,134 houses were completely destroyed and 3,169 more officially classified as "seriously damaged." (In the rest of Thua Thien province another 8,000 homes were more than half destroyed.50) The initial South Vietnamese estimate of the number of civilians killed in the fighting of the bloody reconquest was 3,776.51

Posted on 22 Mar 2009

"Indochina Chronicle," #33, June 24, 1974

Part One

Six years after the stunning communist Tet Offensive of 1968, one of the enduring myths of the Second Indochina War remains essentially unchallenged: the communist "massacre" at Hue. The official version of what happened in Hue has been that the National Liberation Front (NLF) and the North Vietnamese deliberately and systematically murdered not only responsible officials but religious figures, the educated elite and ordinary people, and that burial sites later found yielded some 3,000 bodies, the largest portion of the total of more than 4,700 victims of communist execution.


Posted on 22 Mar 2009
Nguyen Ly Tuong, witness of the massacre at Hue, 1968.  

1. Speaker's profile

          Mr. Tuong Nguyen (NLT) is a former Republic of Vietnam (Lower House) Congress Representative for Thua Thien province, Hue City, term 1967-1971. Ten days before the (Lunar) New Year Day, Rep. NLT was in Hue, visiting his local electorate (districts and province), also rendering his New Year wishes to the administrative and military commanders (I-Corp Commander General Lam, First ARVN Division General Truong, Thua-thien Province Chief Colonel Khoa, Archbishop Nguyen Kim Dien, Venerable Thich Don Hau. Colonel Nguyen Am Quang-tri province chief, ...). He also took chance to evaluate the rumors about the latest communist units (VC) infiltration.
Posted on 08 Mar 2009

February 6, 2008; Page A19

On January 30, 1968, more than a quarter million North Vietnamese soldiers and 100,000 Viet Cong irregulars launched a massive attack on South Vietnam. But the public didn't hear about who had won this most decisive battle of the Vietnam War, the so-called Tet offensive, until much too late.

Media misreporting of Tet passed into our collective memory. That picture gave antiwar activism an unwarranted credibility that persists today in Congress, and in the media reaction to the war in Iraq. The Tet experience provides a narrative model for those who wish to see all U.S. military successes -- such as the Petraeus surge -- minimized and glossed over.


Posted on 12 Feb 2008
(Don xuan nay, nho xuan xua...voi bao nuoc mat!)

Prof. Tran Xuan Ninh

January 1998 marks the 30th anniversary of the Viet Cong's Tet offensive. The Tet Mau Than event was a turning point for the war in Vietnam that led to the fall of South Vietnam. From a military tactical viewpoint, the offensive was a complete failure. The Vietcong propaganda used to indoctrinate their fighting force about the "general uprising of the people in the South that would overtake the government" never materialized. Almost all the NVA and Vietcong force were eradicated or suffered major losses. In addition, the local VC underground in the South was forced to expose their cover in order to link up with the main force.
Posted on 05 Dec 2007
Every battle turns into a stalemate;
The one who fights on with renewed dedication
becomes the victor: General William Westmoreland

            The communist Tet Offensive of 1968 was the turning point of the Second Indo-chinese war.  Before this offensive, most Americans supported the war and believed America was winning.  After the offensive most Americans believed America could not win, that the war was a stalemate (Oberdorfer, Tet! p x.)  Since its adventure in Indochina is the only time that America was clearly defeated, the Tet Offensive is significant.  The question which is addressed is whether the Tet Offensive was a last ditch gamble which failed tactically, but succeeded psychologically in demoralizing the American public, or whether the Tet attacks were part of a well thought out strategy which accomplished their end.  (Gilbert and Head, The Tet Offensive, p 15.)
Posted on 05 Dec 2007

For several thousand years, Vietnamese Lunar New Year has been a traditional celebration that brings the Vietnamese a sense of happiness, hope and peace. However, in recent years, It also bring back a bitter memory full of tears. It reminds them the 1968 bloodshed, a bloodiest military campaign of the Vietnam War the North Communists launched against the South.

The "general offensive and general uprising" of the north marked the sharp turn of the Vietnam War. Today there have been a great number of writings about this event. However, it seems that many key facts in the Communist campaign are still misinterpreted or neglected.

Posted on 30 Oct 2007
Commemorating deceased ancestors and family members who were dead has been a tradition in Vietnam since time immemorial. On the date of their death on the lunar calendar, their living descendants or members of their families hold service in commemoration of them at home or sometimes at pagoda. Offerings -- usually food, fruit, wine along with flowers and incense sticks - are presented to them on the altar. The relatives pray for them and show their love, respect and gratitude prostrating in front of the altar.
Posted on 30 Oct 2007

Time Magazine
October 31, 1969

"At first the men did not dare step into the stream," one of the searchers recalled. "But the sun was going down and we finally entered the water, praying to the dead to pardon us." The men who were probing the shallow creek in a gorge south of Hue prayed for pardon because the dead had lain unburied for l9 months; according to Vietnamese belief, their souls are condemned to wander the earth as a result. In the creek, the search team found what it had been looking for--some 250 skulls and piles of bones. "The eyeholes were deep and black, and the water flowed over the ribs," said an American who was at the scene.

Posted on 16 Oct 2007
(Excerpt from the Viet Cong Strategy of Terror, Douglas Pike, p. 23-39)

The city of Hue is one of the saddest cities of our earth, not simply because of what happened there in February 1968, unthinkable as that was. It is a silent rebuke to all of us, inheritors of 40 centuries of civilization, who in our century have allowed collectivist politics-abstractions all-to corrupt us into the worst of the modern sins, indifference to inhumanity.

Posted on 16 Oct 2007

Not only the civi1ian cadres and their families were killed but also all those who were ‘social negatives’ in the eyes of the Vietcong

Though the Viet Cong attacked more than 120 urban centres during the Tet offensive, their main attack was directed against the old imperial city of Hue. They managed to hold out for 25 days there. The result was not only that the greater pan of this cultural heart of Vietnam was destroyed, bur also that their terror came to a climax here.

Posted on 16 Oct 2007

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Massacre at Hue is the name given to describe the summary executions and mass killings that occurred during the Viet Cong and North Vietnam's capture, occupation and withdrawal from the city of Hue during the Tet Offensive, considered one of the longest and bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War. During the months and years that followed the battle, dozens of mass graves were discovered in and around Hue containing 2,800 civilians and prisoners of war. In some of the graves victims were found bound together; some appeared tortured; others were even reported to have been apparently buried alive. Estimates vary on the number executed, with a low of two hundred to a high of several thousand.

Posted on 15 May 2007

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Biến Cố Mậu Thân 1968


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